Spencer Finnell

Designer & Developer

Tag: new york

3 Months in New York City

Couscous and New York, New York: two things so nice they named them twice. When I initially decided to move to NYC I don’t think I realized just how different the city would be, and how much my perspective about so many things would change.

Prior to arriving in NYC I had been to a lot of other cities all over the world. But until actually living there I think it’s very hard to prepare yourself for what is to come. Having gone for conferences and visiting friends I thought it would be a smooth transition. It was not as smooth as I thought.

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Not only was it the first time living in such a large city, but it was the first time in almost three years that I would have roommates. I was very worried about that before arriving, but realized immediately that I landed in the perfect situation. I could not ask for better roommates.

Our apartment was a (real) two bedroom apartment in Midtown Manhattan. They shared a room, while I had my own. I had a great view out of my tall windows where I ended up working from most of the time. There was an office building across the street so I “worked with them” all day.

I brought with me a few mementos from home: my WordPress pillow, a few books (that were never cracked), and some keepsakes from friends. My goal while I was there was to buy as few items as possible. The things I did buy I knew I could leave to Ariana for her new apartment.

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My overall day-to-day life didn’t change super drastically from the prior months. I worked in the mornings and afternoons and tried to explore as much as I could in the evenings. What did change was the little “tasks” that everyone does throughout the day. What my favorite part about the city came to be was the ability to get things done very efficiently at any time of the day.

Want a coffee? Head around the corner. Want some lunch? Head around the corner. Need to fix the shower head that broke? Head around the corner? Need another coffee? Head around the corner. Want to meet friends for happy hour? Head around the corner.

I like to drive. That wasn’t always the case, but in my recent years I have really come to enjoy the act of driving. But this is only the case when I’m driving because I’m choosing to go somewhere on my own. If I *have* to be somewhere then the act of driving becomes a total hassle. And the issue with Orlando is that is almost always the only option.

In New York there are so many ways to get from point A to point B that I never found myself really loathing having to go anywhere. Yes, it can be a pain to get from the east side to the west side but even that is not much. If you’re not in the mood to wait for a subway, take a taxi. If you don’t want to pay for a taxi, walk. If you don’t want to walk, take the ferry. If you don’t want to take the ferry rent a bike.

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It takes a different kind of person to live in NYC; or at least Manhattan. And I like that type of person. You have to be willing to be a bit aggressive, be driven, and adaptive. It was very refreshing being around so many career-driven people. In fact I felt very lazy most of the time compared to the people I was around. I probably worked more the last three months than most. My roommates would leave before I would get up in the morning and get back from work hours after I had stopped.

This drive helped me have a very productive few months. Astoundify has done great, I’ve worked on a few side projects on the weekends, and in general I have been very happy.

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The recurring theme is options. There is always something to do, always something going on, or always someone around willing to make it happen. If I wanted to do something, I knew I didn’t have to look far. I will miss that.

May 2015 – New York, New York

Just when I really started falling in love with NYC it hit me that I only had a few weeks left to enjoy it. May was cut up and a bit all over the place due to some family matters. It included couple of trips to Orlando and Tallahassee which allowed me to see some family I hadn’t visited in a while.

April 2015 – New York, New York

April in New York city is amazing. Cool (even cold on some days) and dry. Light-jacket weather; my favorite.

April had many visitors which was tons of fun. Grant aka “Grint” made an appearance for a few days and some of Ariana’s friends as well. I also ventured in to New Jersey for a great Easter lunch with my longtime friend Gabe.

I really started feeling comfortable getting around the city and had most of the subway system (that was relevant to me) memorized. I found a few great coffee shops that were relatively easy to get to and started working outside of the apartment more often.

March 2015 – New York, New York

I began my three month journey in New York city the day after my 23rd birthday. I was greeted with a tiramisu from Ariana. March was cold. Very cold. I didn’t want to buy any extra clothes because I wouldn’t have room in my suitcase flying home so I just layered up every day and put my scarf to work.

Work was crazy busy in March so my days consisted of working and checking out different areas of Manhattan. I spent time in each area of the island trying to find the spots that fit me the best. I very quickly connected with the East Village and West Village/Chelsea/Greenwich.

I will admit I wasn’t totally in love with the New York lifestyle when I first arrived. Maybe it was the snow, maybe it was because I was working so much, or maybe it was because I knew so few people. That changed over time and as things always tend to go, I wish I could have stayed longer.

My photography was severely lacking the majority of the time I was there. I tend to not update my blog or take very many pictures when I’m “home” so I will attribute it to that.

WordCamp NYC

One of my favorite things about going to a WordCamp is how diverse it is. I tried to take advantage of it even more so this time around by asking where everyone is from, and where they’ve been traveling recently.  Since I’m trying to figure out my next major travel destination I was prying for information.  I confirmed with a few people that Thailand is definitely something I shouldn’t miss out on, which makes me happy since the political unrest had me uneasy. Definitely a top priority now!

Dinner with Pj, Williamsburg, NY

I was so happy to get the chance to have dinner with Pj before she left for her adventure in St. Louis. We had dinner in Williamsburg, NY at “Diner” — which must be named ironically because it was as far from diner food imaginable.

(Casually borrowing pictures from her Facebook)

There is also the attitude: a sunny disposition so genuine it could disarm the most brusque New Yorker.

Australian Cafes Arrive in New York

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